Have you noticed, they’re starting to pop up already – people sharing their #topnine2018 or #bestnine2018 Instagram photos from the past year? I did mine this morning out of curiosity and figured it’s a good start to my run of blog posts looking back on 2018.
Instagram has been a source of much frustration for those who use it professionally this year, with constant changes, algorithm updates and the much needed crack down on bot activity. It’s also received some bad press from people calling out the ‘fake life’, and those who deem it as a negative tool that promotes unrealistic life/body image.
That’s a post for another day, but I’ve always said I’m a firm believer in taking control and being aware of your own social media usage, and if you have issues with it you’re using it wrong. Your experience of it is in your own hands, and the ‘unfollow’ button can solve a lot of your problems…
Personally, I love it and still really enjoy using it for the very same reason I always have, because I love photography. I have changed the way I use it quite a bit this year, both in terms of my sharing practices and as a viewer.
I’m a total psycho when it comes to how things look, probably slightly OCD so I really do take care over what I’m sharing, and I like my pics to look a certain way – see how I edit my pics here. No, it’s not ‘for the gram’ or ‘for the likes’, (although I’d really question if that is such a bad thing), but for me it’s more for my own compulsive, perfectionist need to have things looking ‘just right’ IMO.
I found that I was more selective of the images I shared, preferring to share the places I was visiting more than anything, and and as my account grew (albeit slowly, and still on a very small scale) I became much more reluctant to sharing personal photos. It’s so travel focused and I like it that way, it matches what I use it for when I’m researching places!
I have always had the strong opinion that if you want to share something, just share it, but I realised I was happy sharing most things publicly, but those personal family/friendship/relationship snaps aren’t for everyone. So I made a personal, private account too.
My stephfoxtravel account will always be my favourite, the one my stories go on, and the one I take so much care and pride in the pics I put on there. The photos you’re seeing so far in this post are my top nine photos from the last year, so they basically got the most likes.
They’re pretty standard, popular spots – the Trevi fountain in Rome, the Shakespeare bookshop in Paris, and Tivoli, Copenhagen. There’s a few surprises in there too, a random street in Paris in the summer, the pinkest restaurant possible in Amsterdam, and the nature pic of the Lake District that looks like somewhere abroad. I can’t believe the warehouses of Hamburg are in there, but that might just be because I wasn’t really a fan of the place.
But I think more importantly I’ve also picked out nine of my own favourites, nine that stand out more from a personal perspective for reasons a bit more meaningful than just the most likes…
Cologne old town – for it’s amazing pastel coloured buildings and how much fun it was to explore those cobbled streets. I took this on my first blogger trip, with about ten other bloggers that I’d never met before. It was a nerve wracking experience but they were all lovely and I had a really good weekend.
Tallinn cityscape – because I was totally blown away by Tallinn old town, and how many incredible views you can get at different parts of the city and it’s walls. I only had about an hour a day to have a look around, and this was just after sunset in February, covered in snow.
Lunchtime in Rome – this one isn’t the best picture in the world but it was one of my favourite moments of the four days I spent in Rome in April. We were eating a delicious Italian lunch by the square, and they just struck up playing Bolero. The perfect accompaniment to a chilled glass of wine.
Paris in July – there are so many better pics of Paris, but I love this one because even though I was traveling with work when England were playing Columbia in the World Cup, I was strolling round Paris watching it on my phone. Two mins before this, Harry Kane had scored and I was celebrating on my own in front of this backdrop. For English people, the summer heatwave and the World Cup were highlights of the year and thats what I think of when I see this pic. Harry Kane blasting in a pen. How ironic that France went on to win it – ha!
La Maison Rose – a much more iconic picture of Paris and one that so many people have taken. Every time I’ve seen the little pink cafe at Montmartre its been so busy and crowded with people, except on this occasion at 6am.
Tivoli – before this year I’d never even been to Copenhagen, but I’ve now lost count of the trips there this year with work. In the summer we had a team night out to Tivoli which is where this was taken. I absolutely loved it and was totally surprised by how quaint and non-tacky it was.
Selfie – ugh, I hate selfies. But while this one isn’t my favourite pic in the world, and one I spent aaaaages to click ‘share’ on, I shared it to promote a mental health awareness blog post. It was intended to stand out among all the travel pics. The amount of people that messaged me off the back of sharing that with their own experiences was so surprising, that although it was a pretty daunting post to share its one I’m more proud of.
Tyne Bridge in Autumn – how can the Tyne Bridge not be in my top nine photos? Taken on a sunny day in October, that bridge is the symbol of home for myself and so many others and its what gives you all the feels when you return back to Newcastle.
Rockefeller Tree at Christmas – I finally saw it all lit up this December, having seen it pre light switch on so many times. My New York trip was my favourite of the year, so this pic makes up my favourite 9.
I can’t share my #bestnine2018 on my instagram grid because I just can’t cope with how out of sync a collage would look, remember that weird OCD thing I told you about? So hope you’ve enjoyed a more detailed look here instead! Have you shared yours yet?
Other posts you might like: